Eudoxia Laskarina Asanina (Greek: Εὐδοξία Λασκαρίνα Ἀσανίνα, Nicaea, 1248 – Zaragoza, 1311) was a member of the Byzantine Laskaris family. In later life, she fled to Aragon, where she was known as Irene Lascaris.
Eudoxia was the fourth daughter of the Nicaean emperor Theodore II Laskaris and of Elena Asenina of Bulgaria. Eudoxia grew up as a princess at the court of Nicaea, where Constance II of Hohenstaufen, widow of her grandfather John III Doukas Vatatzes, also lived. As a young girl, Eudoxia was promised to the royal family of Aragon as a bride for their son, the future king Peter III of Aragon. After the Palaiologan usurpation of the imperial throne, both ladies (dowager empress Constance and Eudokia) fled, travelling the same route from Constantinople to Tende and Sicily respectively and, years later, both sought protection at the kingdom of Aragon under king James I.
Marriage and offspring
Soon after the re-conquest of Constantinople in 1261, Michael VIII Palaiologos, until then regent and co-emperor for the infant John IV Laskaris, had himself declared sole emperor, solidifying his position by having John IV blinded and imprisoned. John's three sisters, Euoxia among them, were hurriedly married off to foreigners, so their descendants could not claim to the imperial succession.
The young Eudoxia was married in Constantinople on 28 July 1261 to Count Guglielmo Pietro I de Ventimiglia (1230–1283), count of Ventimiglia and Tende, a Ligurian region then at the service of Genoa, allies with Michael VIII. This marriage originated the house Lascaris de Vintimille, which stood until the 19th century as a powerful French family.
Eudoxia and Pietro had several children: Giovanni I Lascaris de Ventimiglia, Lucrecia (Lascara), who married Arnau Roger I Count of Pallars, Beatrice, who married Guillem de Montcada, Vatatza in the service of Queen Elizabeth of Portugal, and Violant, married to Pedro de Ayerbe, a grandson of James I.
Before reaching 30, Eudoxia fled from Liguria to Aragon with her daughters Vatatza and Beatrice. Some say it was at the time of her husband's death or on being refused by him. Living at Xàtiva and Zaragoza and Castella, she travelled on diplomatic missions for King James II of Aragon. In 1296 she founded a monastery of Poor Clares and the Sanctuary of Mare de Déu de la Serra at Montblanc, which she entered by the end of 1306. She also donated to the monastery an Italian image of the Virgin, that still stands there. Her remains rest at the Dominican monastery at Zaragoza.
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